Meet Cyril Takayama. You will hear about him a lot more in future posts.
One facet of the art that is always associated with the traditional magician would certainly have to be card magic. The flashy moves of a McBride, or the quiet but smooth execution of a Blaine often conjures images of magicians, rather than mentalists.
While we have to admit that magic and mentalism do overlap in a lot of ways, there are certain things that simply fall under outright mentalism. Some mentalists such as myself are not big fans of using cards because they are so commonplace and so associated with cardicians that we sometimes worry that anything we do, no matter how legitimate as a demonstration of mind-reading, could be handwaved as merely a feat of sleight of hand. That’s a bit of a tough call for mentalists, because a good deal of the time, we go into mentalism precisely because we can’t really do much in the way of sleights. Of course, there are many exceptions, but in general, some of the best mentalism card effects simply don’t involve any sleights, to begin with.
A good friend of mine, Cakit, is a big fan of card mentalism. I don’t begrudge him: he has really worked hard at honing his craft, and really, it’s quite enticing for a performer to have an arsenal at his disposal that can last him hours on end right in his pocket. Ask any good cardician: they swear by their cards because with their abilities, they can entertain for quite a long time with just one deck. A card mentalist worth his salt shouldn’t be too different, either. It’s simply a brilliant move if you are dedicated enough to it, the way other mentalists dedicate themselves to metal bending or remote viewing or some other specialization.
We couldn’t really say that there is a lack of effects or treatments for card mentalism, but there is certainly a lack of prominence for it. Despite a plethora of effects to play with, it is certainly underrepresented in the industry, relative to the available routines out there. Here’s hoping more people do carry the torch, as I personally don’t think I’ll be one of them anytime soon.